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A Recap of Our New Content from May 2018

Big Think Edge | June 08, 2018

The Big Think Edge team is thrilled to present 23 brand new videos!

The experts featured below are diverse in both their backgrounds and skill sets, ranging from a theoretical physicist to a professional poker player. Evaluate your assumptions with a religious scholar — or, assess your awareness with a former CIA clandestine operative.

Learn more about implementing any of these videos for your organization.

Our new videos have been categorized into the following channels:

Leadership

Make Deals Like an FBI Negotiator: Get Your Counterpart to Reveal Her Cards, with Chris Voss, Former Kidnapping Negotiator, FBI, and Author, "Never Split the Difference"

Learning Path: Energizing People

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Successful negotiation isn’t about “getting to yes.” It is about working together to arrive at the best possible solution for both parties. FBI negotiator Chris Voss recommends starting with “no” instead. “Yes,” he observes, is commitment, while “no” is protection. The trick is to offer this protection to the other party. If you start by explicitly giving the other side permission to protect herself, both of you will be more open to listening and negotiating.

Make Deals Like an FBI Negotiator: Gain the Upper Hand, with Chris Voss, Former Kidnapping Negotiator, FBI, and Author, "Never Split the Difference"

Learning Path: Negotiating and Resolving Conflict

A basic, universal negotiating principle is that it’s good to gain the upper hand, and that gaining the upper hand is impossible if the other person feels threatened. So, how do you remove the sense of threat? Simple: Give them the illusion that they have the upper hand — that they’re the ones in control. In this lesson, FBI negotiator Chris Voss teaches you techniques for gaining the upper hand without making your counterpart feel as though they have lost.

Criticize Constructively: Follow Rapoport's Rules with Daniel C. Dennett, Philosopher, Writer and Cognitive Scientist, and Author, "From Bacteria to Bach and Back” 

Learning Path: Negotiating and Resolving Conflict

daniel-dennettWe all know that criticism ought to be “constructive.” But, in practice, we often just end up paying lip service to the idea of constructive criticism — beginning with something like: “I really love what you’re doing on this project, but …” and then launching into everything that’s wrong with it. Happily, Daniel C. Dennett has come to our rescue with a few concrete rules for intelligent dissent. Use them to ensure that nobody’s feathers get too badly ruffled.

The Science of Strategic Thinking: Improve Negotiation Outcomes with 2 Central Principles from Game Theory, with Kevin Zollman, Game Theorist & Author, "The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting"

Learning Path: Negotiating and Resolving Conflict

Game theory is the science of strategic thinking. It offers mathematical models for how people are likely to behave in competitive scenarios. According to game theory, your two best friends in any negotiation are patience and (when you can manage it) the ability to give the other side a “take it or leave it” offer. In this lesson, Kevin Zollman breaks down both principles.

Constructing Powerful Arguments: Play on Your Opponent’s Field, with Reza Aslan, Religious Scholar and Author

Learning Path: Negotiating and Resolving Conflict

reza-aslanWhy are facts not sufficient to convince people to change their deeply held beliefs? Reza Aslan has an answer: we’re often playing on different fields. Human subjectivity means that individually, and as communities, we live in constructed realities — frameworks that shape the way we see the world. When two people disagree, these frameworks often are at odds. And, hurling facts across the fence at one another does not make the fence dissolve.

Mitigate Risk on All Sides: Solve for the Pyramid, with Amaryllis Fox, Former CIA Clandestine Operative

Learning Path: Negotiating and Resolving Conflict

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In business (as in most areas of life), every negotiation, challenge, or risk involves multiple parties and perspectives. Yet, fear can quickly turn these into life-or-death battles of will, with each party clinging desperately to a tiny piece of the puzzle. In this lesson, former CIA clandestine operative Amaryllis Fox describes an incident from her childhood that taught her the value of mitigating risk for all parties involved.

Design Thinking

Constructing Powerful Arguments: Get on the Same Page to Have Meaningful Conversations, with Reza Aslan, Religious Scholar and Author

Learning Path: Discover & Empathize

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Very few of us get into a conversation or a debate with the intention of misunderstanding the other person. Rarely do we choose to talk past one another. Yet, many deep disagreements begin and are fueled by false assumptions on either side about what is actually being discussed. Reza Aslan, who hasn’t shied away from discussions on some of the most emotionally charged topics of our times (minefields for misunderstanding), recommends defining your terms up front.

Win with Red Teaming: A Case Study in Strategic Empathy from Inside the CIA, with Amaryllis Fox, Former CIA Clandestine Operative

Learning Path: Discover & Empathize

How do you suspend your passionately-held beliefs long enough to “think like the enemy?” During the Cold War, the CIA launched the ultimate experiment in strategic empathy in the form of the “Red Team.” For three to six months, this group of high-ranking officers met regularly, role-playing as Moscow high-command. As ex-CIA operative Amaryllis Fox points out, this perspective-shifting exercise demands great humility and curiosity, and it pays major dividends.

Make Deals Like an FBI Negotiator: Get The Reasons You Won’t Make a Deal Out of the Way, with Chris Voss, Former Kidnapping Negotiator, FBI, and Author, "Never Split the Difference”

Learning Path: Discover & Empathize

When we enter negotiations, it’s a scientific fact that our brains tend to spend more energy worrying about what might go wrong than focusing on what could go right. We’re worried about losing precious ground, losing face, losing — period. A smart tactic in negotiations, says FBI negotiator Chris Voss, is to find ways to preemptively diminish these negative emotions in your negotiating partner. This begins with tactical empathy — understanding and labeling their likely concerns.

Use Intuition Pumps as a Testbed for Thinking, with Daniel C. Dennett, Philosopher, Writer and Cognitive Scientist, and Author, "From Bacteria to Bach and Back"

Learning Path: Ideate

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According to philosopher Daniel C. Dennett, intuition is a conviction you hold without knowing exactly why you hold it. Sometimes, it is the end result of a long, mostly unconscious thought process. Maybe it is a brilliant solution, and maybe it is a dud. In this lesson, he suggests using intuition as a testbed for stoking your creativity.

Purpose

Read Body Language Like a Poker Pro, with Liv Boeree, International Poker Player

Learning Path: Heightening Presence

liv-boereeIf you have seen any movie or TV show about poker, you’ve heard of a “tell.” A tell is a habit or bodily action that gives something away, most often that the person is bluffing. Body language is very real, and, because it is typically unconsciously performed, learning to read it can give you a distinct advantage in communicating with others. In this lesson, international poker champion Liv Boeree describes how to spot what people's body language may be telling you.

Rethink Your Salary Negotiation Strategy, with Chris Voss, Former Kidnapping Negotiator, FBI, and Author, "Never Split the Difference" 

Learning Path: Managing Your Journey

When you walk in to your boss’ office to ask for a raise, what should you be thinking about? Money, it turns out, is only one piece of the puzzle. Long-term, your salary depends on your value — so, how do you increase your value? According to former FBI negotiator Chris Voss, sometimes a “career negotiation” might mean accepting a lower salary in exchange for growth opportunities. Often it is worth it because it increases your staying power in the field and your long-term earning potential.

Make Deals Like an FBI Negotiator: Identify Your Negotiation Style — and Your Counterpart's, with Chris Voss, Former Kidnapping Negotiator, FBI, and Author, "Never Split the Difference” 

Learning Path: Mastering Self-Knowledge

Chris Voss knows — as only a former kidnapping negotiator for the FBI would — that there are three basic types of negotiators: Assertives, Analysts, and Accommodators. An easy way to remember them is “fight, flight, or friend.” In this lesson, Voss describes how to identify what type of negotiator you are, and how that will likely affect your counterpart in negotiations.

Talent

Make Progress with Elastic Thinking: Solve Difficult Problems by Looking at Them Differently, with Leonard Mlodinow, Theoretical Physicist and Author, "Elastic Thinking" 

Learning Path: Using Analytics

talentHave you ever had this experience? For weeks.. — months, maybe… — you’re banging your head against a problem with little or no progress to show for it. Then, suddenly, when you're doing something completely unrelated, it hits you: You’ve been looking at the problem entirely wrong! In this lesson, Leonard Mlodinow looks at the “mutilated checkerboard problem” as a classic example of how to go around the wall rather than trying to bore through it with a toothpick.

The Science of Strategic Thinking: Make Better Decisions by Predicting What Other People Will Do, with Kevin Zollman, Game Theorist and Author, "The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting"

Learning Path: Making Decisions

Any project, organization, or negotiation can be understood as a game in which players pursue their individual (and common) interests under a certain set of constraints. Game theory uses this information to predict what players will do at various points in the game. As Kevin Zollman explains in this video, it does this by understanding the players’ motives, the moves available to them, and the probable consequences of each move.

Heighten Your Sensitivity to Rhetorical Tricks, with Daniel C. Dennett, Philosopher, Writer and Cognitive Scientist, Author, "From Bacteria to Bach and Back"

Learning Path: Communicating 360

Because humans are not creatures of pure logic, discussions and collaborations can become muddled through rhetorical trickery, emotional manipulation, and power dynamics. It is embedded deeply in how we relate to one another. Over many decades, philosopher Daniel C. Dennett has learned to spot a few of these strategies that can “red flag” something in need of further examination.

Make Deals Like an FBI Negotiator: Leverage Language and Linguistic Cues, with Chris Voss, Former Kidnapping Negotiator, FBI, and Author, "Never Split the Difference"

Learning Path: Communicating 360

Among their many skills, top-level negotiators are masters of language and verbal cues — both as observers and when in action themselves. For FBI negotiator Chris Voss, three key cues/tools to pay special attention to are tone of voice, “mirroring,” and the use of the word “fair.” In this lesson, Voss explains what these cues signify — and, what you can do about it.

Constructing Powerful Arguments: Wield Your Data in an Emotional Way, with Reza Aslan, Religious Scholar and Author 

Learning Path: Communicating 360

A powerful argument begins with self-awareness. You need to ask yourself whether what you’re about to advocate is based on fact, subjective experience, or both. A truly powerful argument needs some grounding in objective, replicable evidence. Yet, while evidence alone is sufficient to win an argument in the sense of proving your opponent wrong, it may be insufficient to win over anyone who disagrees with you. Here, Reza Aslan teaches you how to use emotion appropriately as a tool of persuasion.

Constructing Powerful Arguments: Use the Socratic Method, with Reza Aslan, Religious Scholar and Author

Learning Path: Honing Your Craft

When a discussion enters the stage of disagreement or debate, our animal nature often takes over. Within moments, you’re on the Western Front, with both sides deeply entrenched and nobody getting anywhere. An ancient alternative strategy, one that remains surprisingly effective millennia after it first appeared, is the Socratic Method. Simply put, this method enables your opponent to reason his way to your point of view. Put more adversarially, it gives him enough conversational “rope” to hang himself.

Sales and Marketing

The Science of Strategic Thinking: Shift Your Mindset to "Win-Win", with Kevin Zollman, Game Theorist & Author, "The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting" 

Learning Path: Collaborate for Success

kevin-zollmanIn the early days of game theory, there was a tendency to consider all competitive situations as “zero-sum” — that is, as ending with a definitive winner and loser. But, history has demonstrated that many competitive situations have potential outcomes that benefit both sides. In this lesson, game theorist Kevin Zollman teaches you how to build trust and foster mutual collaboration with your negotiation counterpart so that both parties might come out on top.

Make Deals Like an FBI Negotiator: Take the Long View, with Chris Voss, Former Kidnapping Negotiator, FBI, and Author, "Never Split the Difference"

Learning Path: Collaborate for Success

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According to former FBI negotiator Chris Voss, successful negotiators approach every interaction with the other side as an encounter within a long-term relationship. Firstly, it encourages a slower pace — fewer encounters of greater depth rather than repeated, rushed, and unproductive meetings. Additionally, master negotiators focus on ensuring that the other side always feels that they have “won,” even if only in the sense of having been listened to and treated fairly.

Innovation

The Science of Strategic Thinking: Strategize for Zero-Sum Situations, with Kevin Zollman, Game Theorist & Author, "The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting"

Learning Path: Developing Strategy

When you find yourself in a zero-sum negotiation, the first question to ask is this: Is my opponent smarter than I am? If the answer is “no,” you might be able to come out on top. But, game theory has no one-size-fits-all strategy for you. Your strategy will depend on the particulars of the relationship and the scenario. If the answer is “yes,” two specific strategies can help. In this lesson, game theorist Kevin Zollman walks you through the possibilities.

Diversity & Inclusion

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The Science of Strategic Thinking: Maintain Transient Diversity for Optimal Group Problem-Solving, with Kevin Zollman, Game Theorist & Author, "The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting" 

Learning Path: Management and Understanding

When you are assembling a group to solve a difficult problem, what basic principles should you keep in mind? In this lesson, game theorist Kevin Zollman advocates for an ideal balance based on “transient diversity” — a characteristic of groups whose members differ in their thinking but are open and flexible. Such a group will debate, discuss, compromise (when necessary), and arrive at solutions greater than the sum of their parts.

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